The longtime coach took Florida State from a mediocre program to a perennial powerhouse shortly after stepping foot in Tallahassee.
He was a great leader. He was a man of generosity. He was a great football mind. He was a motivator.
Back in 1985, with his FSU Seminoles up by four against No. 10 Nebraska at halftime, coach Bobby Bowden proved why he’s one of the best to ever wear the headset.
Bobby Bowden’s Halftime Speech vs. Nebraska in 1985
Even though the Seminoles held a 17-13 advantage, they looked gassed.
Bowden wasn’t having it. Sure, FSU was playing on the road. It was hot. But those were excuses.
Bowden starts off the speech by addressing his team’s unity. Then, he has some firm words for his defense.
“Defense, if they don’t score we win.”
Can’t find any fault in that logic.
Bowden goes on to talk about his team’s stamina, which he assures is better than Nebraska’s. He moves on by telling his offense they need to score on the opening drive.
Tailbacks, find the hole and burst through it. Offensive line, protect the quarterback. Take care of the ball. Be smart on special teams.
After addressing the X’s and O’s, Bowden gets to the best part of the speech.
“Now men, listen to me. Y’all have worked hard. And you are better than Nebraska. You are better than Nebraska. Now, listen to what I say. Are we going to let them beat us?”
“No sir!,” the team emphatically answers.
“Let’s get out there and get on.”
The team is searching for the nearest brick wall to run through. They’ll have to settle for the door to the field.
Bowden’s speech is textbook coaching. He addresses the team needs before getting its adrenaline pumping.
And what do you know? His advice about not letting the Huskers score worked.
FSU went on to win 17-13 after a scoreless second half. Years later at the conclusion of the 1993 season, Bowden probably gave a similar speech when FSU beat Nebraska to win that national championship.
The banners will remember legendary Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden for his national championships and ACC championships. Players will remember Bowden as the guy who made them play their hardest.